German GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.1
7 July 2013
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
(Conducted by Kai Ebel)
Sebastian, tell the world how sweet a taste is this home victory?
Yeah, it's unbelievable. I'm very, very happy, an unbelievable race. Kimi was pushing very, very hard in the end and obviously they tried to do something different with different compound tyres. I think we had a very solid, very controlled race but I was pushing, I think, every single lap, except the laps behind the Safety Car. Very happy with the result and incredible to finally win in Germany.
At the closing stages of the race you felt the warm breath of this guy [Räikkönen] in your neck so what do you think about driving with this guy next year together in one team?
Well, I don't know. I think first of all I enjoy today and, yeah, I could feel him coming and more and more pressure but yeah, I obviously had a couple of laps where it was quite close with Romain as well who tried to push very hard. In the middle of the race we lost KERS for a couple of laps so it was very difficult – but fortunately the system recovered and yeah, it's very useful to defend properly. Very happy that the race ended after 60 laps and not 61 or 62.
Kimi, was it better for you that the radio had some problems and you couldn't understand the guy from the pit wall?
No actually – I could hear them but they couldn't hear me. I think it only worked in one part of the circuit and unfortunately today there was quite a lot to discuss and it didn't work. So, not the ideal but we managed to do pretty well and obviously we want to win but today we didn't have the speed. The race should have been a bit longer, maybe then we could have had a good chance – but we scored good points for two cars and we are getting back where we should be. So in the end not ideal but pretty OK for us.
Romain, how good is it being back on the podium, even if it is now the third position and not the second if that could been?
It's good, it's a good result for the team. We had a very strong race, which is good. Very good first stint. I thought I would have had a chance at one stage on Seb but the Red Bull was quick today. And then at the end we choose different strategy with the team. I think that was the right things to do – just put one car on one tyres and the other one on the other one, and it appears the Option for Kimi was quicker. So, yeah, I think it was good to play a little bit, the team, and then I'm very happy to be back on the podium. I think we've deserved it for a little while but now it's reality.
[Question in German]
Obviously I felt the push from the crowd and yeah, obviously, I tried to focus the last couple of laps, knew it would be very close with Kimi once he gets past Romain, so yeah, incredibly tough, I was pushing every single lap as hard as I could and Lotus was incredibly quick today, looking after their tyres probably a little bit better than other people. But yeah, all in all, fantastic. Compliments to the team, three great stops we had. Very, very happy with the day.
Sebastian, many congratulations. That was a tremendously entertaining race to watch for anybody who loves the sport. You were obviously made to work pretty hard for it. Your fourth win of the season [and the] 30th of your career. Clearly, the defining thing is that it's meant so much to you for such a long time and you've achieved so much in 26 years but just put into words what it means to finally win your home grand prix.
Definitely a great relief. Very happy with how the day went. To be honest, for sure, there are a lot of expectations. Especially when you have a good car and for a couple of years you've had a good run, when you come to home soil people expect you to win. I think the whole team, including myself, we never ever let that get to our head but it just feels very, very sweet now to have succeeded after a couple of tries. Sometimes we were close. I think we had good races in the past in Germany as well, finished on the podium, which was a great experience but today, to win here, yeah. Both tracks, Hockenheim and Nürburgring mean a lot to me. To race in Germany I think is a privilege. To have the ability to have a home grand prix. Great relief, very happy, special day for sure. I think it take some little while to sink in but yeah, just incredibly proud today. The team did a fantastic job for strategy and for the pit stops. On the track it was so difficult. I pushed every single lap but it's so tough when you're on the edge and you know that you can't go over the tyres too much because then you will not reach the end of the stint. Equally, passing people, you know that you have to get through traffic as quick as you can, so not an easy race. The Safety Car didn't help us. We had a little bit of a cushion but Lotus was incredibly quick today and gave us definitely a big run for our money. I'm just very happy that it worked out. Last but not least our compliments to Pirelli. They did a very, very good job within a couple of days to react and bring a different rear tyre to this event. I think we didn't have any failures throughout the whole weekend. Compliments to them. They had a lot of criteria after the last race but it looked like they made up for it this race and hopefully for the next races we continue to have racing like that.
Kimi, moving to you. Obviously Lotus were in a strong position. They could make a tactical gamble, put Red Bull on the back foot. From your point of view, you got through, Romain let you through towards the end. But was there a scenario where you could have won this race today?
Obviously not, because we didn't win it. I was stuck behind the Mercedes after the first stop for a little while until I got past them. It cost me some time. After the Safety Car we were pretty OK and the cars, three of us, had similar speed and it's very difficult to overtake anybody. I could run longer and we had a think about it, if we can try to run until the end but we had a massive problem with the radio. I could hear them but they could only hear me between two corners. So I'm wondering if we should have done it, take a gamble and try to go to the end because the tyres were pretty OK, my speed was pretty OK so it was hard to know what happens in the next ten laps. We decided to come in and put the soft tyres. We had good speed. Obviously I got some help from Romain to get past but that was… we would have had a big fight, anyhow. I could have probably passed him in a normal situation but obviously it would have cost me a lot of time. And as a team we try to win and I caught up with Seb but, like I said before, everybody was behind each other but we are too close on speeds and it's so difficult to overtake then. We tried everything that we had and failed to win but I think for the team we did a good race and got both cars on the podium, so as a team we're happy but obviously I lost some more points to Seb in the championship. We keep trying.
Romain, great to see you back here in the top three again. Fantastic first stint that really played you into contention for this grand prix. Tell us about your race, about how you felt and also a little bit of detail maybe about the radio traffic that was going on.
We had a good qualifying and the first stint has been amazing, seeing P1 on the board is always good. The car was working much better than what we thought on Option tyres. After the first pit stop Seb and myself were quite a long way ahead of everyone else and it was looking like we will try to see with strategy to adapt, to stop three stops depending on how we were going and then the Safety Car came. It made it easy for strategy but less good then for the traffic. Clearly then, as a team we had to put different eggs not in the same basket and change different strategy for Kimi and myself. It appears that Kimi's one worked better but it could have been the opposite. So, it's good to be back on the podium, good to score strong points. The summer is back on – which should help us to be more consistent at the front. But the first stint has been really good and finally getting car and tyres that work together, it's nice.